Don Coyhis – White Bison

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Article written by: Debra Elliott

Don Coyhis

All men need healing. Don Coyhis of the Mohican Nation wanted to bring hope and healing to all indigenous people. In 1988 he founded White Bison a Native American non-profit company dedicated to creating and sustaining a grassroots Wellbriety Movement.

White Bison offers many resources to the Native American community nationwide as well as non-Native people. Some of the services include sobriety, recovery, and addictions prevention. One of the main projects of president and founder Don Coyhis is the Wellbriety Movement.

The Wellbriety Movement provides culturally based healing to generations of Native Americans. Wellbriety means sober and well. It’s the inspiration to go on beyond sobriety and recovery. Wellbriety is committed to a life of wellness and healing every day.

Some of the philosophies of White Bison is leadership exists to serve the people first and alcohol and drugs are destroying us and we want to recover.

That is also the philosophy of Don Coyhis. Don was an alcoholic and knew he needed help before he destroyed himself or those around him. He started going to support groups and sobriety meetings but felt lost and disconnected.

Don’s life changed when he met “Johnny” a Native American and recovering alcoholc Johnny took Don on a five day trip to the Colorado mountains to heal. The experience was life changing for Coyhis when he saw a white bison rise from the ground.

He knew what he had to do. Don began his lifelong work of helping Native American overcome addiction. He has spent thirty-five years with White Bison and never ceases because there is always someone in need and work to be done.

Don Coyhis, 2009 Wellbriety Journey for Forgiveness, Healing from Intergenerational Trauma

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